Hyundai Verna Hatchback Test Drive & Gearbox

Hyundai Verna Overview

Hyundai Verna has always been a prominent player in the mid-sized sedan segment in the Indian market. It has churned decent moolah for Hyundai in this highly competitive segment, which comprises of heavyweights such as Maruti Ciaz, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and others. The sales of the Verna sedan dipped concerningly over the past few months as the design was outdated and it missed out on some tempting features as compared to its arch rivals Honda City and Maruti Ciaz, both of whom received a facelifted version with fresh styling and modern features. Therefore, the South-Korean automaker has introduced the next-gen Verna sedan with new styling and sophisticated features to regain the lost ground. The new sedan comes in both petrol and diesel fuel trims with manual as well as automatic transmission. It has been offered in four trim levels: E, EX, SX, and SX (O). The 2017 Hyundai Verna is based on a new architecture, while flaunting a new design and boasting of several first-in-segment features. Book a test drive for Verna in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

Check for Hyundai Verna On Road Price in Jaipur

Hyundai Verna Design & Style

The design is a progression of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. As Hyundai Design’s Ha Hak Soo told me a few days ago, the last Verna was more extreme, loud, and very emotive – and this one is now more ‘grown up’, still exaggerated but sure of itself, and hence not as loud. The car will attract attention though. When you first see it, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a facelift on the previous Verna since proportions seem similar. It’s only when you look closely that you realise it’s very different, and also substantially bigger. The new Verna (or Accent as it’s called elsewhere) now shared its platform with the Elantra, and not the i20 like the previous gen did. The K2 platform allows for it to be wider and have a longer wheelbase too. The face has the new ‘cascade’ front grille – which is nicely finished, but a bit too wide for my liking. The Verna in China gets a grille that’s less organic and shaped more like the Elantra’s – and I kind of think that works better! Still, the cascade grille is now the new family look – and is already on the Grand i10/Xcent facelifts too. The car gets projector headlamps (base gets halogens) and fogs, with the top variants also getting LED daytime running lights (DRLs) and LED taillights. Both are well finished, and very premium. The signature pattern in the taillight is almost like the one from the i20, only flipped 180 degrees. The car’s flanks have a sharp crease, and the roofline is really coupé-like for a change – with the roof travelling straight into the taillight housing – nice! It gives the car a distinct silhouette unlike the rivals who are all firmly three-box.

Hyundai Verna Cabin & Comfort

Inside the design is a lot more subdued – again Ha Hak Soo (who heads Hyundai’s interior design by the way), told me that this was intentional. Since the outside was so bold and extroverted, the inside was kept simpler, subtler, and more understated. The cabin layout is premium though – with good use of plastic moulding on the dash, and a nice two-tone palette. The dash layout will remind you of the Elantra’s though the central console is more like the Tucson’s – with a carryover on the climate control system panel design too. The 7” touchscreen dominates this stack, and is only on offer on the two top variants. The mid trims get a 5” screen, and the base E variant gets nothing. But then that variant isn’t the one I expect mostly anyone to buy anyway. The screen is sharp with a nice display and is loaded with features. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto/Mirror Link, navigation, and an Arkamys sound system (standard from the 2nd {EX} variant and up) are all accessed through this screen. You can control the music through Hyundai’s iblue smartphone app, and the top variant also gets Auto Link which lets you check on your car’s status (health check), its stats (trip etc.), and also your driving habits (mileage information, etc.). It also connects you to roadside assistance. The top trim also gets the start stop button, keyless entry and two segment-firsts – a sunroof, and seat ventilation for the front two seats – that will be bliss for many owners in hot summer months! The top end also gets leatherette perforated seats for better cooling – all other variants have fabric seats. The higher variants also get a manual sun ‘curtain’ or screen for the rear windscreen.

The AC vents are housed in a dull metal finish – which looks nice and sleek. The climate control system is also well finished and the AC is effective. On the top auto variants (and soon on the manuals too) you will also get what Hyundai calls Eco Coating – which allows the AC system to further filter out pollutants and harmful gases from entering the cabin. The instrument cluster has a display screen with lots of functions including the trip computer, settings for displays, and again barring the base E variant there is also cruise control on offer. The car’s boot is equipped with the same Smart Trunk feature as big sister Elantra. If you have the key in your pocket and approach the car’s rear – wait a couple of seconds and the trunk lid pops open on its own. Helpful when your hands are full, and a nice feature – that’s only available on the top-end SX(O) though. I haven’t even listed some of the other features on offer, and so that easily tells you that Hyundai has gone for the kill, by packing the Verna with so many goodies, that the competition is going to now almost look meagre by comparison. Good material quality inside the cabin, with good plastics will only cement that case further.

Hyundai Verna Engine & Gearbox

Hyundai has bid the smaller 1.4-litre engines goodbye for now. So you just have the 1.6-litre engines on offer now. These engines have been mildly updated in the interest of better drivability. These are paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Also, it’s got an all new chassis borrowed from its elder sibling – the Elantra. The K2 platform did help the Verna shed some weight. And, while the car is bigger and has gained quite a few features, it is said to weigh as much as the outgoing iteration. Exact figures aren’t available yet, but, for reference – the Verna 4S tipped the scales at approximately 1200kgs in its heaviest avatar. Let’s start off with the 128PS (@4000rpm)/260Nm diesel. On paper, the power and torque figures remain unchanged, but the torque has been made more accessible. New pistons and piston rings have helped reduce friction while an improved turbo has helped improve the boost at low rpms. So, the torque is delivered earlier and is spread wider across the rev range (1500-3000rpm vs 1900-2750rpm). In fact, at as low as 1250rpm, the diesel motor is already dishing out 245Nm, instead of the 176Nm the older tune offered.

Driving inside the city is a fuss-free affair. The diesel was easy to drive in its earlier guise and now the engine doesn’t require you to downshift frequently either to slow down for a speed breaker or pace up for a quick overtake. Steady pace is the name of the game with the diesel. It can build speed effortlessly and maintain them too, but it doesn’t feel eager to get there. Even on the highways, you can dance out of your lane, step on the gas and execute a clean overtake – as long as you aren’t in a hurry.That’s a trait the petrol motor shares with the diesel. It too doesn’t like being hustled, and prefers it if you take things steadily. If you absolutely need to get a move on, you will have to keep it in a lower gear and make sure the tacho is ticking around 3500-5000rpm, because that’s where the torque is. Push it any further and it runs out of steam. In other words, don’t bother redlining it.

While 123PS and 151Nm sound exciting on paper, the engine is evidently tuned more for everyday usability than outright performance. Hyundai has ensured there’s ample torque at the bottom end, and the engine now makes 9Nm more (130.5Nm vs 121.6Nm) at 1500rpm. The new 6-speed manual gearbox has taller ratios than the outgoing 5-speed unit, and it’s sublime in the way it goes about its business. For instance, you can drop down as low as 25kmph in sixth gear without hearing the engine cough and splutter. Sure, flat-footing it then won’t let you make swift progress, but the fact that it pulls without protest even from such low speeds is appreciable.Both engines are smooth and refined, especially on start-up and idle. Get a move on, and the diesel sounds a bit gruff under 2000rpm. It does get gradually quieter as you make progress, though. The petrol, on the other hand, can only be heard if you’re wringing it. Otherwise, it’s happy maintaining its silence. The 6-speed automatic replaces the 4-speed unit that made the old Verna petrol a bit of a guzzler, and makes its way into the diesel variant for the first time as well. Irrespective of the engine it’s mated with, gearshifts are quick, smooth and more importantly, early. The gearbox complements the laidback nature of the engines nicely. The torque converter chooses the right gears at the right time, and doesn’t let you know you it did.

Hyundai Verna Driving Dynamics

Where the new Verna excels in my opinion is in its ride and handling. This is one of the sportiest Hyundai sedans I’ve driven in a while, with a much stiffer setup than before. While the car does appear a tad bouncy on very uneven surfaces at high speeds, for the most part its ride is supple, and very sorted. Even at the back, you will find the ride to be extremely comfortable, as the car swallows up broken roads, small potholes and ruts with ease. Cornering is not completely precise, yet the car will give you the confidence to take it quick into a corner. The Verna now grips the road better, and its wider track and wheelbase help. This is largely due to the fact that it now sits on the K2 platform (same as the larger Elantra) unlike previous Verna and Accent that shared the i20/Creta platform. The only let down can be the brakes, which come across as still lacking like the previous Verna’s. But the steering is much improved, and more precise than before for sure.

Hyundai Verna Safety & Security

The next-gen Hyundai Verna gets disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. In addition, it is laced with a plethora of exceedingly reliable braking systems such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) as standard features. The body structure of the new sedan is developed with 50 percent of Advanced High Strength Steel, which is an additional increase of 37 percent over the preceding model. As for the safety of the occupants, the 2017 Verna comes several avant-garde features in form of 6-airbags, front projector foglamps, ISOFIX (Child Restraint System), Impact sensing Auto Door Lock, Cornering Lamps, Reverse Parking Sensors, and Reverse Parking Camera.

Hyundai Verna Price in Chennai

Hyundai Verna Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 7,98,774/- (Verna 1.6 VTVT E) to 12,86,949/- (Verna 1.6 CRDI SX Plus AT). Get best offers for Hyundai Verna from Hyundai Dealers in Chennai. Check for Verna price in Chennai at Carzprice

Hyundai Verna Verdict

The Verna doesn’t wow you from the word go. The design, inside-out, is a lot subtler, sophisticated and may not be to everyone’s taste. Heck, some might think its boring. But, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the Verna has evolved – and how! The grown-up manners can be noticed when you drive it, be it petrol or diesel, manual or automatic. More than that, it manages to walk the tightrope between comfort and fun. Then there is the fit and finish, equipment levels and a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty! If the backseat was a little more accommodating it’d be an absolute no-brainer in our books. Factor in the pricing that pegs it between the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Honda’s City, and it becomes clear that even if Hyundai’s Verna isn’t all that exciting, it is hard to fault and impossible to ignore.

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